Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Make your good idea a reality, part 1

A few years ago, it occurred to me that a major way people can make a difference (in their own or other's lives) is by making their ideas a reality. Most of us have brilliant, interesting, or useful ideas from time to time, but how many of us act on them? That's the key: to make your ideas, your solutions, your dreams real. Whether you want to clean your house, lose weight, learn another language, be more social, write a book, start a school, or something else entirely, you can make it happen. Here are some ways to do that:

* Write your goals down. Put them someplace where you can see them and be reminded of them frequently. One friend used the bathroom mirror. Another used an e-mail alert service to send reminders to her inbox. (Here's a free service I found through Google. And here's another.) I like my journal (paper, not online) to record thoughts and inspiration. I often flip back through it to see what progress I've made and what more I need to do.

* Set small, quantifiable goals. It's easier to get discouraged when the goals are too big. You should be able to measure the results, so you know you're making progress. Instead of saying "I'll clean my house," try "I'll throw away or recycle at least five items each day."

* Reward yourself when you reach your goals. After exercising as planned for a month, treat yourself to a night out or a spa day.

* Talk with a group of like-minded friends. Tell them your goal and ask them to hold you accountable for what you say you will do. You can do the same for them. This works really well in my bookclub, the Sisters of the Yam. After we eat dinner together and discuss the book-of-the-month, we have Dream Circle. Each of of talks about our dreams and the progress (or lack thereof) we've made toward making them a reality. If one of us falls off track, our sisters are there to offer encouragement, support and suggestions to get us started again. We love it!

With the new year, the vernal equinox and my birthday, I like the first three months of the year for making plans and setting goals. Of course, you can set goals any time. Now is the perfect time to get started. So think about what you really want to do, and do it! Make it happen!

Just FYI, I thought about starting a newsletter or website like this blog for years before I launched So what can I do? It's never too late!

1 comment:

Karama said...

Instead of New Year's resolutions, I like to make monthly resolutions. It's easier to focus on a small goal or two for about thrity days, and I find I get more done that way. Try it!